For my first post, I thought I would start with the first product that I apply to my face – primer!
Primers seemed to hit the beauty world with a bang in 2012, or at the least, that was when I first heard of them. Almost every cosmetics brand seems to have a primer now, whereas before then it wasn’t anywhere near as common to see them on make up stands. Primers have many different benefits, creating a smooth canvas for your base to go on, helping your make up to last all day, minimising the appearance of pores and wrinkles, and hydrating the skin. They range in price, with cheap options such as ELF which is under $10, to Guerlain’s L’Or Radiance Concentrate primer which is $169 and features 24 carat gold! The products that I have tried are more affordable than that, mainly around the $20-30 mark.
What I want from a primer is mainly to create a smooth base for my foundation. I have quite dry skin due to acne medication that I’m on, and therefore my skin can be a little bit rough at times. Over the last couple of years I have purchased* and used Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer ($15 USD for 0.5oz, or around $17NZD for 15ml), Australis primer ($23.50 for 40ml), NYX Studio Perfect Primer Anti-Redness ($22 for 30ml), Nude by Nature Undercover Airbrush Primer ($39.95 for 50ml) and a Models Prefer primer which seems to have been discontinued. I’ve also tried samples of, or trialed from an in-store application, Korres Pomegranate primer, Benefit Porefessional and MAC Prep and Prime Skin. I won’t do a full review of them, but I did especially like Porefessional, probably due to the fact it’s similar to the NYX primer by being silicone-based.
To be completely honest, most of the primers I’ve tried did nothing for me, or nothing other than slightly moisturising my skin. Particularly terrible was the Nude by Nature primer which almost managed to make my face greasy which is a true feat considering how dry my skin usually is. The Australis, Sephora and Models Prefer primers all did nothing much, but at least they weren’t bad. I’ve finally given up using the Australis primer, my most recent failure, so I decided to buy the NYX primer on my recent trip to Australia. So far I have been really pleased with the NYX primer. It’s silicone-based, which means that it provides the smooth canvas that my other water-based primers so very much lacked. The colour-correcting properties were what grabbed my eye when I looked at it on the shelf, and it seems to do a decent job at correcting some of the redness from my acne. It’s not magical of course, and the redness is mainly covered by foundation and concealer, products with much more pigment in them, but it was worth a try.
I took some photos of my face bare, with the NYX colour-correcting primer and with my MAC Studio Sculpt foundation and MAC Pro longwear concealer. As you can see, there isn’t much of a green tinge to my face when the primer is applied, although it looks quite green in the tube.
Some people are concerned that silicone-based primers can block your pores, and not allow them to ‘breathe’. I haven’t had any issues with blocked pores, and I do all my breathing via my nose and mouth, not through my pores! If you have tried some of the disappointing primers that I have tried, or other water-based primers, I would recommend trying a silicone-based primer. Many of the most famous primers by brands like Smashbox, Benefit, and Laura Mercier are silicone-based, and they are famous because the silicone just gives such a lovely smooth base.
Eyeshadow primer is another type of primer which I like to use. I haven’t experimented with many brands, purely because the only one I’ve ever used is absolutely amazing. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion is incredible. A tiny tube of it has lasted me a long time, because you only need a tiny dot for each eye. My eyeshadow typically smears and creases very easily, due to my semi-hooded lids, but this primer will keep it looking good all day, as you can see in the photo below.
I would recommend this product to anyone who struggles with their eyeshadow not wearing well during the day or night. There may be even better ones out there but I really can’t think of how this could be improved. The only issue is that Urban Decay isn’t sold in any New Zealand stores, but it is available on Beauty Bay for around $30 NZD which I consider to be quite reasonable as it will last a very long time.
There are also mascara primers, lip primers and apaprently hair primers too, but I’m yet to try any of those products. Of course, if I do, you’ll hear about it first!
I’m interested to know what primers my readers are loving at the moment, or whether you’ve also tried some of the same ones as me, and what you thought of them! Let me know in the comments section, or on Twitter or Facebook.
*I will link to NZ stockists of the products, or if they’re not sold in NZ I’ll link to where I bought mine from. Let me know in the comments what types of links you would prefer. All prices are in NZ dollars unless otherwise specified.